Friday, May 21, 2010

Chandni Bar (2003)

Heading to Bombay with her lone surviving relative after she loses her parents and her town is destroyed by religious strife, young Mumtaz (Tabu) has a difficult time adjusting to a place where jobs seems scarce and life is cheap. Informed by distant relative Iqbal (Rajpal Yadav) that the only job available at the time is a position in the sordid Chandni Bar, Mumtaz's guardian, Mamu Irfan, reluctantly accepts the position in order to provide for her young charge. Soon addicted to drugs, Mamu Irfan finds solace only in the company of her equally despondent co-workers. The arrival of corrupt political henchman Potiya (Atul Kulkarni) provides a glimmer of hope as he falls for Mamu Irfan, though after a brief marriage and a pair of children later, Potiya quickly disappears never to be seen again. Despite Mamu Irfan's best efforts to keep Mumtaz and her children shielded from the bleak realities of her own life, fate soon descends a series of crippling blows on the hapless family. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Chandni Bar (2003)

Another long {over 2 hours} melodramatic film depicting the life and lives of women in India. The film is very predictable as characters portent the end result of their family-that destiny and background dictates the future. It was almost like a caste system in place as people are held down by poor decisions or such high level of constraints creating limited possibilities and opportunities.

It was much in the tradition of Mother India (1957) and even one character tells Mumtaz that she is basically Mother India and as such you sill suffer long and hard and same with your children.

The film started out as showing religious persecution but as soon as the two move to Mumbai all former religious out-showings disappear. Most of the men end up being "pimps" and the word is used quite frequently in the film {translation stated "pump" on my version}. Even in the end Mumtaz and her daughter to a lesser degree gets "pimped" out to try to raise money to save the family-specifically the son from prison.

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